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Kanpur farce: Umpires hit back

November 22, 2008 16:16 IST

Under fire for the way they conducted the fourth one-day international between India and England in Kanpur on Thursday, which had to be decided by the Duckworth-Lewis method, the umpires hit back, saying they are "amazed at the lack of knowledge of their critics".

The Kanpur ODI started late and ended early amid fading light with India winning by 16 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis method to take a 3-0 lead in the seven-match series.

Umpires Russell Tiffin and Ameish Sahiba were blamed for the farcical end by a fuming British media, which said the officials' decision to shorten the match by just one over a side after a 45-minute delay lacked common sense.

Stung by the criticism, the umpires said they were only trying to ensure as many overs as possible in the match and they deserved applause for that.

"We lost just one over inspite of it being a 45-minute delay. That's big achievement," one of the umpires was quoted as saying by a website.

"Look we lost 45 minutes, but we made it all up. First we cut the lunch break from 45 to 30 minutes, then got another 15 minutes from the extra time allotted to both sides. We would have lost two overs if we went by this calculation.

"In that case the game would have got over by 4.58 instead of a closure at 5 pm. With our calculations, at least we were ensuring that the game would go on till 5.07 pm. We had to ensure both sides get the same number of overs and we succeeded to some extent," added the official.

The umpire said he did not see anything farcical in the way the match was conducted and it could have been a full game but for a few unwarranted delays.

"The sun came out very briefly and was gone again in a matter of minutes. We cannot toss in advance and say let's start when it gets better. It does not work that way. The pitch becomes the property of the umpires only when the conditions are deemed fit by them. It really took time for the weather to become clearer," revealed the official.

The official also rubbished suggestions that the lunch break should have been shortened to ensure a full game, saying the ICC rules have specified a certain amount of time for lunch and that cannot be violated.

"But you saw the teams did not even have that much of a break because India's over-rate was slow," said the official.

Suggestions that floodlights could have been turned in the afternoon were also rejected by the umpire, who said the officials could not have risked using an untested facility which has been primarily installed for football games.

"There is no point talking about the lights. Anyways the lights at Kanpur have not been used for any game. What if we used it and it did not work. They are anyways lights to be used for football games," the match official reasoned.

The umpire was, however, sympathetic towards England skipper Kevin Pietersen and lauded him for trying all he could to ensure a full match.

"Maybe in the time they spent looking at the sheets we could have had two-three more overs. After all Kevin Pietersen was using his spinners. The light was good to face the spinners.

"To his credit Pietersen tried everything to come up with a result. At the stage he could have very well used a fast bowler, but he wanted a fair game so decided to switch to a spinner," he explained.

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